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What Is a Cover Letter?

Understanding cover letters, types of cover letters, how to write a cover letter, tips for writing a cover letter.

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What Is a Cover Letter? Types and How To Write One

what is cover letter in job

A cover letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application outlining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. Since a cover letter is often one of only two documents sent to a potential employer, a well- or poorly-written letter can impact whether the applicant is called for an interview .

Key Takeaways

  • A cover letter is commonly submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the position.
  • A good cover letter complements the resume and explains why the candidate is the ideal person for the job.
  • Common cover letter mistakes can sink a job applicant.

Investopedia / Joules Garcia

Most job postings are done online and no longer require a physical application. Instead, applicants send companies a copy of their resume along with a cover letter either by email or with a hard copy through the mail. A resume offers a glimpse into the professional and academic experience of a potential employee. The cover letter, on the other hand, acts as an introduction written by the candidate to express their interest in the position and what makes them the best fit for the job.

A good cover letter complements a resume by expanding on items relevant to the job. In essence, it's a sales pitch that describes why the applicant is the best person for the position. Career experts advise job seekers to spend time customizing each cover letter for the particular position, rather than using a generic missive. Although this requires extra effort, it can be very helpful in allowing an applicant to stand out above the competition.

The cover letter provides information to the employer about who the candidate is as a professional and as a person. This includes their areas of interest, professional goals, knowledge, skills they've gained over the years, achievements, passions, and aspirations. The cover letter should be a one-page document that provides a clear and concise idea about why the candidate is the best person for the job . It should also highlight the cultural fit.

While there is no set template for a cover letter, the type of letter that you write will depend on the requirements of each individual company or employer. The information that is included in a cover letter will vary depending on the goals and purpose of your application.

  • An application cover letter is the most familiar type of cover letter. This is generally written in response to a vacancy that is posted on a company's website or a job board. In addition to answering any specific questions posted in the job ad, it may also highlight any experience or skills that are suitable for the position.
  • A referral cover letter is similar to an application letter, but it includes the name of a colleague or employee who recommended the applicant for the open position. A strong referral can help you stand out against other applicants.
  • A prospecting cover letter , also known as a letter of interest, is written by a job seeker and addressed to a company where they would like to work. However, it is not aimed at a specific role or vacancy. Instead, this type of letter inquires about open positions in general and may highlight any special skills that make the writer suitable for the company.

When employers post a job ad that requires a cover letter, they may specify certain requirements for the cover letter to address. For example, they may require applicants to answer certain questions, or to respect a certain word limit. It is important to follow these requirements, as they reflect on the applicant's ability to understand and follow directions.

If the employer does not set any expectations, a typical cover letter should be about a page or less, and may include a formal greeting, contact information, and links to the applicant's portfolio or work. It should highlight any special skills, and explain why you would be a good fit for the position. This is your chance to impress the employer: Even if your resume does not have everything an employer wants, a well-written cover letter can make the applicant stand out from the crowd.

However, it is possible to include too much information. Most employers will simply glance at the majority of their cover letters, and a long-winded essay might end up at the bottom of the pile. A few short paragraphs explaining your skills, and why you chose that specific employer, should be enough to put your best foot forward.

Writing a cover letter doesn't have to be tedious—even though it may seem like it's a chore. Here are a few simple tips you may want to consider when composing your cover letter:

  • Personalize your letter for each role. Never use a generic cover letter. This means you have to write a new one for each position. Be sure to include your strengths and skills, and explain why you’re the perfect candidate.
  • Include contact information. If the posting doesn't include the hiring manager's name, call the company , or check its website. Including this person's name gives your letter a proper greeting and also shows you have initiative. And don't forget to add your contact information, too. This is important if your resume gets separated from your cover letter.
  • Simplify your letter. Communicate clearly and concisely. Using complex words and sentences would most certainly fail to convey your intentions with the company and the person reading the letter probably won't bother with the rest of your application.
  • Be specific when needed. Don't rehash your resume, so be sure to quantify your accomplishments. For instance, expand on your marketing experience in your cover letter by saying you brought in 200 additional clients each month and increased revenue to $10,000. This can set you apart from candidates with vague personal details.
  • Proofread. After you’ve written the letter, go over it a few times to ensure there are no errors. Then ask someone else to do a once-over and recommend any changes you may need to make.

A simple, focused cover letter without any typos or grammatical errors will get you noticed by potential employers.

A perfect resume can often be sabotaged by a poorly thought-out cover letter or one that is laden with mistakes. Whether you include the letter as per required submission guidelines, or you simply want to emphasize your interest in the job, make sure you avoid making these blunders.

  • Names matter. This includes the name of the hiring manager, the company, and yes, even yours. Make sure you have the right names and the correct spelling. And don't forget to change the names if you're using the same cover letter for multiple jobs.
  • Restating your resume. Since the cover letter is used to identify your skills and explain how your previous experience is applicable to the desired position, don't restate the stuff on your resume. Remember, the cover letter should complement your resume, not just summarize it.
  • Keep your letter tight. Recruiters often go through hundreds of applications and don't have time to read through a three-page missive. The absolute maximum length for a cover letter should be one page, with a few concise paragraphs.
  • Omit unnecessary details. Stay on topic. There's no need to mention your graphic-design skills if you're applying for an accounting position. It's a good idea to leave out personal things like your IQ, recreational accomplishments, interests, and hobbies. That is unless they relate to the job or company.
  • Avoid sounding arrogant. Ensure your cover letter does not make you appear arrogant . While the cover letter is about you and your accomplishments, find a way of saying "I'm the best" without actually saying it. Avoid overusing words like "I," "me," or "my."
  • Remember that spelling counts. Typos and grammatical errors can show you didn't bother to proofread your own letter. And make sure to be consistent—don't convey a dash with "--" in one place and "—" in another.
  • Design matters : with the proliferation of publishing, design trends, and software, candidates have become creative in making their cover letter stand out from a design perspective. Make sure your cover letter projects your personality in terms of design while remaining professional. That is personal signature and branding.

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

According to Indeed , a leading job-seeking site, a typical cover letter should be about three or four paragraphs long and highlight any special experience or achievements that make the applicant exceptionally well-suited to the position.

How Do You Start a Cover Letter?

A cover letter should start with a formal greeting, preferably addressed to the hiring manager. If you do not know who will be reading your cover letter, a generic "to whom it may concern" is an acceptable, albeit old-fashioned, way to address a cover letter. It is also acceptable to address the letter to a title, such as "Dear Hiring Manager," or "Dear Talent Acquisition Team."

What Should a Cover Letter Contain?

An effective cover letter should highlight the applicant's skills, experience, and any achievements that make them a good fit for their prospective employer. It is also a good chance to mention anything that is not included in the resume: For example, if an applicant is drawn to a certain employer because they love a certain product, the cover letter is a great place to mention it. Make sure your cover letter also includes your name and contact information.

In a competitive jobs market, an effective cover letter is one way to make a job application stand out. This is a chance for an applicant to demonstrate why they think they would be a good fit. However, a poorly-written or meandering cover letter can hurt an application more than it helps.

Harvard Extension School. " Resources and Cover Letters: An Extension School Resource ," Pages 3 and 5.

Harvard Extension School. " Resources and Cover Letters: An Extension School Resource ," Page 5.

Jobscan. " Cover Letter Formats ."

Indeed. " What Is a Cover Letter? "

Indeed. " How to Address a Cover Letter (With Examples). "

what is cover letter in job

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How and Why to Write a Great Cover Letter

Student working in career planning guide

A cover letter is a one-page business letter that you submit when applying to a job, along with your resume. As a piece of persuasive writing, your cover letter will aim to convey to the employer why you’re a great candidate for the role.

What is the purpose of a cover letter?

Your cover letter complements your resume by making it easy for the employer to see how your experience and interest connect to the position. Your goal is to convince the employer to interview you.

With your cover letter, you’ll aim to:

  • Highlight your qualifications:  You’ll show how your skills and experience relate to the employer’s needs for a specific position.
  • Showcase your motivation: You’ll demonstrate your enthusiasm for the specific position and the organization.
  • Reflect your voice and written communication skills: You’ll give the employer a sense of your personality and writing style.

When should I write a cover letter?

Not all jobs require cover letters. So, how do you decide whether to submit one?

Submit a Cover Letter when…

  • The posting explicitly requests that you do so
  • You’re applying to an opportunity at a mission-driven organization
  • You think that doing so could provide important information to the employer that they wouldn’t get from your resume

Consider Submitting a Cover Letter when…

  • It’s marked “optional” in an application, and you have the bandwidth to do so
  • You have content that you can easily recycle or repurpose into a tailored cover letter

No Need to Submit a Cover Letter when…

  • A posting specifically tells you not to submit one
  • There’s no way to submit one in an application portal, and doing so would require a serious workaround

If you’re applying to several similar opportunities, creating a draft cover letter in advance, geared toward that type of opportunity, can be a helpful way to save time in your actual application process.

How do I write a cover letter?

Your cover letter should articulate your qualifications and motivation for the position. Read the job description closely and research the organization. As you craft your cover letter, use examples that demonstrate your relevant skills, knowledge, and interests. The cover letter should be concise, clear, and well-organized.

Before Writing

Research the employer.

Learn enough about the organization to articulate why you are a strong fit for that firm. 

  • Review the firm’s website and LinkedIn page.
  • Speak with current or previous employees.
  • Read articles and social media for current news.

Analyze the job description

Look for skills, duties, and qualifications of the job so you can design your letter to match these as much as possible.

Reflect on your experience and motivation

Identify skills and personal qualities you have developed which will be useful in this role. Ask yourself:

  • What attracts you about this role/company/industry?
  • What have you have done in your work experiences, classes, internships, activities, projects, volunteer work, travel, etc., that is similar to the duties required of the job? 

Cover Letter Structure

As a business letter, the cover letter should include:

  • Heading: Include your name and contact information in the same format as your resume
  • Salutation: Address your letter to the specific individual who can hire you, if this is known. If the name is not included in the job description, address the letter to the Hiring Manager or title mentioned in the job description.
  • Body Paragraphs:  Discuss your experiences, interests, and skills to show the employer how you can add value to their team. See the section below for more guidance.
  • Signature Line: Include a closing and your name.

The cover letter should be one page, about three or four paragraphs, and single spaced. Use 10-12 point font and one inch margins. 

When applying online, upload your cover letter as a PDF file, unless another format is specified. When sending your resume and cover letter by email, you may write a short note or paste your cover letter in the body of your email (without the address header) and also attach the PDF file.

Cover Letter Content

Your cover letter should answer who, what, when, where and why you are applying for the opportunity. 

Introduction

State the position for which you are applying. If you have a referral or spoke with someone from the company, you can mention it in the introduction. Provide some basic information about yourself; this can include your class year and what you’re studying at Columbia. Briefly outline why you’re interested in the organization and what you bring in terms of relevant experience and skills. 

Body Paragraphs

These paragraphs will highlight your qualifications and strengths that are most relevant to the organization and position. Use the job posting and your research as clues to determine what the employer is seeking in a candidate. Have your resume beside you and reflect on what you want the employer to know about you. Are there experiences you want to expand upon that demonstrate your understanding of the role and ability to do the job requirements?

Structure the paragraphs based on relevance, not chronology. Lead with your most relevant skill or strongest experience.

Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence.  This can highlight a key skill set, a transferable experience, or a core area of knowledge you’ve built through your studies. Walk the reader through a project or experience, integrating the relevant skills you used and qualities you demonstrated. Provide details about your accomplishments and impact. Connect how these experiences have prepared you for this role and why you are motivated to do this job. There is no need to apologize if you feel you lack experience; focus on the accomplishments that you have.

Recap what you would bring to the organization and your interest in the position. Thank the employer for their consideration. Keep your tone positive and enthusiastic. 

Check out our example of how to structure your cover letter content . 

Editing Tips

Use our  Cover Letter Checklist to make sure your format and content is in line with best practices. 

  • Ensure that the content reflects the requirements in the job description
  • Keep the cover letter concise, at one page or less
  • Correct any errors in grammar, sentence structure, and spelling
  • Use the active voice
  • Avoid beginning too many sentences with “I”

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Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application

what is cover letter in job

What is an Application Letter?

What to include in your application letter, tips for writing a cover letter, cover letter sample and template, email cover letter sample.

  • How to Send an Email Application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Alex Dos Diaz / The Balance

What's the best way to write a letter to apply for a job? Your letter should detail your specific qualifications for the position and the skills you would bring to the employer. What’s most important is to show the employer that you’re a perfect match for the job.

Your job application letter is an opportunity to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience. An effective cover letter will enhance your application, showcase your achievements, and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Review what to include in a job application letter, tips for writing a letter that will get your application notice, and examples of letters and email messages sent to apply for a job.

Key Takeaways

  • An application letter accompanies a resume and may be uploaded to a job portal, sent via email, or even sent by postal mail, depending on the employer’s requirements.
  • Application letters are an ideal way to show your interest in a job and highlight your most relevant skills.
  • It’s important to match your letter to the job description and show the employer that you have the qualifications they are seeking.

A   letter of application, also known as a  cover letter , is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience to an employer. Your letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why you are an ideal candidate for the job.

Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.

Effective application letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify the most relevant skills that qualify you for the job.

Your application letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, explain your qualifications for the job, why you should be selected for an interview, and how you will follow up.

Unless an employer specifically requests a job application letter sent by postal mail, today most cover letters are sent by email or attached as a file in an online application tracking system.

As with all cover letters, a job application letter is divided into sections:

  • The heading includes your name and contact information.
  • A  greeting  addressed to a specific person, if possible.
  • The introduction includes why the applicant is writing.
  • The body discusses your relevant qualifications and what you have to offer the employer.
  • The close thanks the reader and provides contact information and follow-up details.
  • Your  signature to end the letter .

Here’s how to ensure that your application supports your resume, highlights your most relevant qualifications, and impresses the hiring manager.

Get off to a direct start.  In your first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the job title and company name, and where you found the job listing. While you can also briefly mention why you are a strong candidate, this section should be short and to the point.

Offer something different than what's in your resume. You can make your language a bit more personal than in your resume bullet points, and you can tell a narrative about your work experience and career.

Application letters typically accompany resumes, so your letter should showcase information that your resume doesn't.

Make a good case.  Your first goal with this letter is to progress to the next step: an interview. Your overarching goal, of course, is to get a job offer. Use your application letter to further both causes. Offer details about your experience and background that show why you are a good candidate. How have other jobs prepared you for the position? What would you bring to the position, and to the company? Use this space to  emphasize your strengths .

Close with all the important details.  Include a thank you at the end of your letter. You can also share your contact information and mention how you will follow up.

This is a sample cover letter.  Download the cover letter template  (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for an email sample.

The Balance

John Donaldson 8 Sue Circle Smithtown, CA 08067 909-555-5555 john.donaldson@email.com

September 6, 2022

George Gilhooley LTC Company 87 Delaware Road Hatfield, CA 08065

Dear Mr. Gilhooley,

I am writing to apply for the programmer position advertised in the Times Union. As requested, I enclose my certification, resume, and references.

The role is very appealing to me, and I believe that my strong technical experience and education make me a highly competitive candidate for this position. My key strengths that would support my success in this position include:

  • I have successfully designed, developed, and supported live-use applications.
  • I strive continually for excellence.
  • I provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers.

With a BS degree in computer programming, I have a comprehensive understanding of the full lifecycle of software development projects. I also have experience in learning and applying new technologies as appropriate. Please see my resume for additional information on my experience.

I can be reached anytime via email at john.donaldson@email.com or by phone at 909-555-5555.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

John Donaldson

The following is a sample email cover letter to send as part of a job application.

Email Application Letter Example

Subject: Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position

Dear Hiring Manager,

I'm writing to express my interest in the Web Content Manager position listed on Monster.com. I have experience building large, consumer-focused, health-based content sites. While much of my experience has been in the business world, I understand the social value of this sector, and I am confident that my business experience will be an asset to your organization.

My responsibilities have included the development and management of website editorial voice and style, editorial calendars, and the daily content programming and production for various websites.

I have worked closely with health care professionals and medical editors to provide the best possible information to a consumer audience of patients. I have also helped physicians to use their medical content to write user-friendly and easily comprehensible text.

Experience has taught me how to build strong relationships with all departments in an organization. I have the ability to work within a team, as well as cross-team. I can work with web engineers to resolve technical issues and implement technical enhancements. 

I am confident working with development departments to implement design and functional enhancements, monitor site statistics, and conduct search engine optimization.

Thank you for your consideration.

Colleen Warren colleen.warren@email.com 555-123-1234 www.linked.com/colleenwarren

How to Send an Email Application Letter

If sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title you are applying for in the  subject line  of the email:

Colleen Warren - Web Content Manager Position

Include your contact information in your email signature but don't list the employer's contact information.

Do you have to write a cover letter when you apply for a job?

Some employers require cover letters. If they do, it will be mentioned in the job posting. Otherwise, it’s optional but it can help your chances of securing an interview. A cover letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer, showcase your qualifications, and explain why you are a perfect candidate for the job.

How can you use a cover letter to show you’re a qualified candidate?

One of the easiest ways to show an employer how you’re qualified for a job is to make a list of the requirements listed in the job posting and match them to your resume. Mention your most relevant qualifications in your cover letter, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, that you have the credentials they are looking for.

CareerOneStop. " How Do I Write a Cover Letter ?"

CareerOneStop. “ Effective Cover Letters .”

21+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

Background Image

No matter where you are in your career, or what job you’re applying for, submitting a cover letter with your resume is a must . 

Done right, a cover letter will effectively complement your resume and explain to the hiring manager in more detail why you’re the right person for the job.

Writing a cover letter, however, is easier said than done. 

You have to effectively demonstrate that you’ll be able to perform the responsibilities listed in the job description and that you’d be a better fit for the company compared to other candidates. 

And unless you’re a professional writer, this can be a very hard task.

Fortunately, we created these cover letter examples to inspire you and help you get started with your own cover letter!

Let’s dive in!

21 Cover Letter Examples 

#1. career change cover letter example .

cover letter example for career change

Here’s what this cover letter does right:

  • Has an ideal length. This cover letter includes all the relevant information for the hiring manager without getting into too much detail.
  • Relevant introduction. The candidate explains that they’re changing careers and why they want to work in this new field from the get-go.
  • Explains their related experience. The candidate explains how their previous experience in retail sales can help them succeed in PR.

Check out our guide video guide to learn how to write a Cover Letter that gets you HIRED!

#2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example 

cover letter example for a recent graduate

  • Personally greets the hiring manager. The candidate has taken the time to find the hiring manager’s name and address them by it, which makes the opening of the cover letter much more personal.
  • Wraps up with a call to action. The candidate wraps up the cover letter by suggesting a meeting with the hiring manager, which makes them more memorable.
  • Explains why the candidate is the right person for the internship. In this cover letter for an internship , the candidate explains how they’ve previously interned in a different firm, which gives them the experience to succeed in this role.

Have you just graduated from college? Make sure to check out our guide on writing an entry-level cover letter from start to finish! 

#3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Middle Management

  • Use of bullet points. The candidate presents the information in a concise and reader-friendly way, making it easy for the hiring manager to find their key achievements. 
  • Formal closing. The candidate has used a formal and polite tone to conclude their cover letter, which combined with a call to action makes them look professional and passionate about getting the job. 
  • Explains how the company would benefit from hiring them. The candidate outlines exactly what they could do for the company, which not only highlights their skills but also shows they’ve done their research on the company’s needs. 

#4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for business manager

  • Detailed header. In addition to the must-have contact details, this candidate has also included their professional Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, making it easy for the hiring manager to look more closely into their career. 
  • Concise and to the point. This candidate has used short paragraphs and bullet points to make the cover letter easy to skim through. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By letting the hiring manager know they’ll be contacting them soon, they’re more likely to make an impression.

Check out this article for a complete writing guide and an inspiring business manager resume sample. 

#5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for phd

Here’s what this cover letter does right: 

  • Attention-grabbing introduction. In the opening paragraph, this candidate explains why they’re passionate about pursuing a Ph.D. in great detail. 
  • Explains the candidate’s qualifications in detail. The candidate builds on their passion by explaining how they’re also qualified for the degree because of their education history and academic achievements. 

#6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

cover letter example for senior executive

  • Professional and minimalistic template. This senior executive has used a professional but minimalistic template that lets their work experience do the talking. 
  • Achievement-oriented opening paragraph. Right from the get-go, this candidate explains what makes them so good at their job, effectively grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.  
  • Wraps up with a call to action. By suggesting to have a meeting and discussing how they can help the company meet its goals, the candidate stands more chance to make a positive lasting impression. 

#7. Architect Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example

  • Modern resume template. This architect has picked a template that perfectly matches his industry, as it is professional and modern at the same time. 
  • A personal greeting to the HR. They address the hiring manager by their first name, which helps make a better first impression. 
  • Measurable achievements. By quantifying their achievements, the candidate proves their achievements instead of just claiming them.

Struggling with your architect resume ? Check out our full guide!

#8. Business Analyst Cover Letter Example 

cover letter examples

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has listed both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, providing the HR manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.  
  • Mentions what the candidate can do for the company. This cover letter doesn’t just explain why the job would be great for the candidate, but also how the candidate would benefit the company. Win-win, right? 
  • Error-free and reader-friendly. It’s super important for the cover letter to have no spelling or grammatical errors and be reader-friendly. This candidate made sure they did both.

Need a resume alongside your cover letter? Check out our guide on how to write a business analyst resume . 

#9. Consultant Cover Letter Example 

best cover letter example

  • Professional cover letter template. Being an experienced consultant, this candidate has picked a professional template that doesn’t steal the spotlight from their achievements. 
  • Experience and achievement-oriented. The candidate has effectively elaborated on their top achievements relevant to the job. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. To show they want the job, this candidate has also explained how passionate they are about their profession.

For more advice on landing a job as a consultant, check out our guide to writing a consultant resume .

#10. Digital Marketing Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Digital Marketing

  • Creative cover letter template. This digital marketer highlights their originality by picking a creative cover letter template. 
  • Lists the candidate’s awards. The candidate has taken advantage of the cover letter to list their most noteworthy awards in the industry. 
  • Concludes with a call to action. As they used a call to action to conclude their cover letter, the HR manager will be more likely to remember them.

Want to take your digital marketing resume to the next level? Check out our guide!

#11. Graphic Designer Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example for Graphic Designer

  • Detailed contact information. The candidate has included additional contact information such as their website link, as well as their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  
  • Ideal length. This cover letter is concise, which means that the HR manager is more likely to read it from start to finish.  
  • Draws attention to the candidate’s strong points. Although this candidate is a recent college graduate, they’ve managed to effectively show that they have enough knowledge and experience to do the job right.

Read this guide to write a graphic designer resume that’s just as good as your cover letter!

#12. Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Administrative Assistant

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. The candidate picked a well-designed but minimalistic template for their cover letter. 
  • Focused on skills and achievements. This cover letter is packed with the candidate’s skills and achievements, proving he can be an excellent employee. 
  • Formal closing. Politeness can go a long way and the candidate has used this to their advantage to make an impression. 

Our article on how to write an administrative assistant resume can help you take your job application to the next level.

#13. Front Desk Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Front Desk

  • Modern cover letter template. This template incorporates memorable colors and clear lines, which make the cover letter very visually appealing. 
  • Attention-grabbing introduction. Using an attention-grabbing intro, the candidate is more likely to make an impression. 
  • Calls the HR to action. By including a call to action, the candidate is reminding the HR of their immediate availability. 

#14. Human Resources Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Human Resources

  • It is concise and to the point. The candidate doesn’t dwell on unimportant details the HR won’t be interested in. 
  • Uses a traditional cover letter template. The cover letter design is more on the conventional side, which fits the industry better. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s strong points. The candidate has rich work experience and they use the cover letter to elaborate on it. 

This HR resume guide can help you get your resume just right.

#15. Sales Agent Cover Letter Example 

Cover Letter Example  for Sales Agent

  • Attention-grabbing cover letter template. As a salesperson, this candidate knows how important first impressions are, so they’ve picked a catchy cover letter template. 
  • Has an ideal length. At the same time, they’ve also made sure to keep their cover letter at just the right length. 
  • Lists the candidate’s career highlights. The candidate has made perfect use of the space by mentioning their most impressive professional achievements. 

Check out this sales agent resume guide to create an attention-grabbing sales resume .

#16. Receptionist Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Receptionist

  • Modern but minimalistic cover letter template. The template’s design hints the candidate is creative but professional at the same time. 
  • Uses a catchy introduction. The candidate has used an attention-grabbing opening paragraph to catch HR’s attention. 
  • Concludes the cover letter formally. The candidate proves that they’re polite and well-spoken, a quality very much important for the role they’re applying for. 

Take your receptionist resume to the next level with this receptionist resume guide .

#17. Information Technology Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Information Technology

  • Mentions measurable achievements. Numbers make an impact, which is why this candidate has included measurable achievements. 
  • Lists both soft and hard skills. The candidate has mentioned a great mix of soft and hard skills, showing how well-rounded they are. 
  • Contains relevant contact information. The candidate’s GitHub, website name, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles are all great additions to the resume. 

Looking for tips to help you write a great IT resume ? Check out our guide!

#18. Real Estate Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Real Estate Agent

  • Ideal length. Short and to the point, this cover letter is bound to get noticed by the HR manager. 
  • Wraps up with a call to action. This candidate reinforces the HR to call them back through a final call to action. 
  • Mentions the right skills. On top of their sales accomplishments, the candidate touch upon important soft skills such as customer service and communication . 

This real estate resume guide will help you take your resume from good to great.

#19. Teacher Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Teacher

  • Mentions relevant contact information details. This candidate has included optional (but relevant) contact information details, such as their LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium profiles. 
  • Achievement-oriented. The candidate has elaborated on their achievements in more detail throughout their cover letter. 
  • Highlights the candidate’s passion. For some jobs, being passionate is much more important than for others. Teaching is one of these jobs, which is why this candidate explains their passion for the job. 

Our guide on how to write a teacher resume has all the tips you need to land the job.

#20. Project Manager Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Project Manager

  • Leverages a catchy introduction. Through a catchy introductory paragraph, this candidate is sure to grab the HR’s attention and get them to read the rest of their cover letter.
  • Lists measurable accomplishments. This candidate explains exactly what they’ve achieved using numbers and hard data. 
  • Personally greets the HR. A personal greeting sounds much better than “Dear Sir/Madam,” and the candidate knows this. 

This guide on how to write a project manager resume can help you perfect your appication.

#21. Paralegal Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Example for Paralegal

  • Minimalistic cover letter template. This cover letter design looks good but doesn’t steal the show from the candidate’s abilities. 
  • Mentions the candidate’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Although the candidate is a recent graduate, they’ve used the cover letter to explain they have enough skills and achievements to do the job. 
  • Lists measurable achievements. The candidate proves they did well in their internship by mentioning quantifiable achievements. 

Check out this paralegal resume guide to perfect yours.

What is a Cover Letter? 

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application, alongside your resume . 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can give the hiring manager more insight into what makes you a good candidate and help them make up their mind about whether they should invite you for an interview. A bad cover letter, though, will get ignored (at best) and lose you the job (at worst).

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

The first thing to remember is that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you shouldn’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume and call it a day. 

Optimally, you should use your cover letter to shed more light on your skills and qualifications, as well as explain anything you didn’t have space for in your resume (e.g. a career gap or why you’re changing careers).

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, though, putting all this together might seem pretty tough. 

Fortunately, you can follow our tried-and-tested format to make the experience much easier:

  • Header - Input your contact information.
  • Greeting the hiring manager - Open the cover letter with a “Dear Sir or Madam,” or use the hiring manager’s name if you know what that is.
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the hiring manager’s attention by getting straight to the point. Mention what your professional experiences are, and what role you’re applying for.
  • The second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Mention your top 2-3 achievements, your top skills, why you want to work in that specific industry, and whatever else is relevant.
  • The third paragraph - End your cover letter with a call to action. E.g. “I would love to meet personally and discuss how I can help Company X.”
  • Formal closing - Something like this: “Thank you for your consideration. Best, John Doe.”

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

cover letter structure

9 Tips to Write a Cover Letter (the Right Way)

Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about cover letter tips . Below, we'll give you all the knowledge you need to take your cover letter from "OK" to "great."

#1. Pick the right template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

And what’s a better way to leave a good impression than through a professional, well-formatted, and visual template?

You can simply pick one of our tried-and-tested cover letter templates and you’ll be all set!

cover letter examples templates

#2. Add your contact details on the header

The best way to start your cover letter is through a header. 

Here’s what you want to include there:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

Optionally, you can also include the following:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your content portfolio site or blog.

#3. Greet the hiring manager the right way

Once you’ve listed all your relevant contact information, it’s time to address the hiring manager reading your cover letter. 

A good practice here is to find the hiring manager’s name and address them directly instead of using the traditional “dear sir or madam.” This shows that you’re really invested in the company and that you took your time to do some research about the job.

So, how can you find out the hiring manager’s name?

One way to do this is by looking up the head of the company’s relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably the Head of Communications or the Chief Communications Office.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of server at a restaurant. In that case, you’d be looking to find out who the restaurant manager is.

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

If you still can’t find out the hiring manager’s name, here are several other greetings you can use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

#4. Create an attention-grabbing introduction

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph.

The problem with most cover letter opening paragraphs, though, is that they’re usually extremely generic, often looking something like this: 

Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

As you can probably tell, this opening paragraph doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything other than that you’ve worked the job before - and that’s not really helpful in setting you apart from other candidates. 

What you want to do, instead, is start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position. 

For example:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed its sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as my excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the role of X at Company Y.

The second example shows how the candidate is a top performer. The first just shows that they’ve worked a sales job before.

Which one are YOU more likely to invite for an interview?

#5. Show you’re the perfect person for the job

One great thing about cover letters is that they allow you to expand more on the top achievements from your resume and really show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. 

A good way to do that is to first read the job ad and really understand what skills/experiences are required, and then to ensure that your cover letter touches upon the said skills or experiences.

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+. As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation and management process end-to-end. This means I created the ad copy and images, as well as picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

#6. Explain why you’re a great company fit

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

To convince the hiring manager that you’re a great company fit, do some research on the company and find out what it is you like about them, or about working there. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company's product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

Then, turn your top reasons for liking to work there into text and add them to your cover letter! 

#7. Wrap up with a call to action

To make the end of your cover letter as memorable as possible, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Mention anything you’ve left out that you think could help the hiring manager make up your mind.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. After all, it never hurts to be polite. 
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. A call to action is a great way to make your cover letter ending as memorable as possible. 

#8. Write a formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions in a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

#9. Proofread your cover letter

Last but not least, make sure to always proofread each and every document that you’ll be including in your job application - cover letter included. 

The last thing you want is to be claiming you’re a great candidate for the job with a cover letter full of typos! 

For an even more comprehensive guide on how to write an impactful cover letter , check out our article ! 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist 

Cover Letter Writing Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have some questions about cover letters? Check out the answers below:

1. How do I write a simple cover letter? 

To write a cover letter that’s simple but also professional, make sure to include a header with your personal information, a formal greeting to the hiring manager, an attention-grabbing opening paragraph, a second paragraph explaining why you’re a good candidate for the job, and a formal closing (preferably with a call to action). 

2. What are the 3 parts of a cover letter? 

The three parts of a cover letter are: 

  • The introduction , namely the header, the greeting to the hiring manager, and the opening paragraph. 
  • The sales pitch is usually the body of the cover letter. 
  • The conclusion involves a formal closing and a signature line.

3. What makes a great cover letter?

A great cover letter should be personalized for each job you’re applying for, instead of being overly generic. It’s also preferable to address the hiring manager by their name and not use the overly-used “Dear Sir/Madam.”

To make a great first impression, you should mention 1-2 of your top achievements in your opening paragraph - the more job-specific they are, the better. Also, don’t stop at showing the hiring manager why you’re a great candidate for the job. Make sure to also talk about how you’re a good culture fit for the company.

Last but not least, wrap up your closing paragraph with a call to action to give the hiring manager a little extra something to remember you by. 

4. When is a cover letter necessary?

Unless the job ad specifically states otherwise, you should always include a cover letter with your job application .

Even if the hiring manager doesn’t read it, you will look more professional simply by including one.

And that’s a wrap! We hope our cover letter examples and writing tips will inspire you to write a cover letter that will land you your next job.

If you’re looking for more invaluable career advice and articles, make sure to check out our career blog , or any of these related articles: 

  • How to Write a Resume
  • Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
  • Cover Letter Format (w/ Examples & Free Templates)

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  • Careers advice
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How to write a cover letter.

A cover letter introduces you to an employer and asks them to think about your application. 

It’s a short letter, usually 3 to 5 paragraphs long.

When to include a cover letter

You should always include a cover letter when you apply for a job using a CV. 

You can write it as an email if you’re applying online or print a copy to go with a paper application.

When writing a cover letter, let the employer know you’re keen by showing that you’ve researched the company. Learn more about what they do through:

  • their website
  • recent news articles
  • talking to people you know who work there

Send it to the right person

It's important to try to address your cover letter to someone by name. Check you have the details of the person you need to send it to. 

You'll need their name and preferred title. For example, ‘Dr’, ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Ms’, and their job title. You should also make sure you have the right company name and address, including postcode.

If you do not know their name

If the job advert does not include a name you can check the company website. Try to find details of the head of the department, head of human resources or a recruitment manager.

If you still cannot find a name, you can start your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

Introduction

Introduce yourself and explain how you found the advertised job. You can mention the job title, and reference number if there is one. 

If you’re asking about any job openings and not applying to a vacancy, tell them what sort of job you’re looking for. Let the employer see how keen you are to work for them.

Show you're right for the job

Highlight the skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for. 

Convince them that you're enthusiastic about working for them. Let them know you share their work values, culture and style.

Give extra information

If you have gaps in your employment history, you could talk about the skills you gained while you were out of work.

If you’ve mentioned on your CV that you have a disability, you might want to talk more about this in your cover letter. Organisations like Disability UK can give you advice on how to do this. You do not have to mention your disability at this stage if you prefer not to.

You can get more help with specialist advice on finding work if you have a disability.

Ending your cover letter

Thank the employer for considering your application. Let them know that they can get more details from your CV, and tell them you're looking forward to hearing from them.

Let them know how they can best contact you. Make sure your contact details are correct on both your cover letter and CV.

Yours sincerely or yours faithfully

If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should end the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’.

If you’ve addressed the letter ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, you should end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.

Tips for writing a cover letter

When writing your cover letter, remember to:

  • write a new one for every job you apply for and make sure it’s tailored to the company and the specific role
  • use the same font and size as you do for your CV, so it looks consistent
  • make sure the company name and recruiter’s details are correct
  • use the right language and tone: keep it professional and match the keywords used by the employer in their job advert
  • show you’ve done your research into the job and the company
  • highlight your most relevant skills and experience to stand out from other applicants
  • back up any statements you make with facts and use the STAR method
  • double check spelling and grammar before you send it
  • keep a copy of your cover letter as they may ask you about it in an interview

Related content

How to write a CV

Completing application forms

Interview tips

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The Cut

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

  • ‘I Had a Great Job Interview — Why Haven’t I Heard Back?’
  • How to Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ in a Job Interview

by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Status.net

Project Manager Cover Letter Example and Template: Craft a Perfect Application

By Status.net Editorial Team on February 7, 2024 — 9 minutes to read

When you’re crafting your cover letter as a project manager, your introduction is where you make your first impression. Think of it as your professional handshake in written form; it’s where you greet the hiring manager and give them a glimpse of your personality and capabilities.

  • Start with your name and professional title. For example, you could begin with, “As a dedicated Project Manager with a proven track record,” which immediately informs the reader of your role and hints at your experience.
  • Next, highlight your relevant skills. You could say, “Your projects require a leader who can effectively manage resources, time, and teams to deliver outstanding results,” which showcases your understanding of what the job entails.
  • Follow with a brief mention of your career highlights. “Having successfully led numerous high-stakes projects, I am eager to bring my expertise to your dynamic team,” provides a snapshot of your background while directly relating it to the needs of the potential employer.
  • Connect with the company’s values or mission. Research the company and include a line that shows you’ve done your homework: “I admire how your company prioritizes innovation and user experience, values that I hold dear in my project management philosophy.”

Understanding the Project Management Role

In this section, you’ll get to grips with what being a project manager really entails, including the responsibilities you’ll shoulder and the skills that’ll make you stand out.

Key Responsibilities

As a project manager, you’re the linchpin that keeps projects on track. You’ll plan, initiate, and manage projects from start to finish. You ensure that everything runs smoothly, whether it’s resource allocation, time management, or coordinating with stakeholders. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to handle:

  • Defining project scope and objectives, often involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring feasibility
  • Developing a detailed project plan to monitor and track progress
  • Managing changes to the project scope, project schedule, and project costs using appropriate verification techniques
  • Measuring project performance using appropriate tools and techniques
  • Reporting and escalating to management as needed

Essential Skills for Success

Your skill set as a project manager can elevate your career to new heights. Exceptional communication allows you to convey ideas clearly and negotiate with stakeholders effectively. Risk management ensures you can anticipate and mitigate potential problems, keeping your project on course. Let’s break down these skills a bit more:

  • Strong leadership : Guide your team towards meeting project objectives
  • Effective communication : Share ideas, relay feedback, and report on progress
  • Risk management : Identify potential risks and devise plans to avoid or address them
  • Critical thinking : Analyze situations and make decisions that will benefit the project and stakeholders
  • Time management : Prioritize tasks and manage time to meet deadlines without rushing or sacrificing quality

Explanation of Personal Qualifications

Your cover letter is your chance to shine by elaborating on your personal qualifications that make you the ideal candidate for the project management position. Highlighting your relevant experience and industry-recognized certifications and education can give you an edge in the selection process.

Relevant Experience

In detailing your experience, it’s important to list specific roles that have prepared you for the project manager position. For instance:

  • Managed a team of 12 to deliver a project on a tight deadline.
  • Oversaw a budget of over $500,000 while ensuring cost-saving measures were in place without compromising project quality.

Certifications and Education

Your academic background and professional certifications are a testament to your knowledge and skills. More: How To List Certifications on a Resume (Examples)

Highlighting Achievements

When crafting your project manager cover letter, you should meticulously showcase your past achievements. These successes illustrate your capabilities and can set you apart from other candidates. Start by listing significant projects you’ve led or contributed to, mentioning the positive outcomes that were achieved due to your leadership.

  • Led (…) project that improved operational efficiency by 20%
  • Managed a cross-functional team that delivered a critical project two weeks ahead of schedule, under budget

It’s important to quantify your successes with numbers and percentages where possible because this provides concrete evidence of your results. For example, if you saved your company money, state how much. If you increased efficiency, specify by what percentage. Remember to tailor your achievements to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for. Here are a few more:

  • Orchestrated the turnaround of a failing project, ultimately delivering the desired outcome and retaining a key client
  • Achieved a 98% customer satisfaction rate over a two-year period through diligent team management and customer engagement strategies
  • Successfully negotiated vendor contracts that led to a 25% reduction in supply costs

Demonstrating your impact with tangible examples not only paints a clear picture of your skills but also shows potential employers what you can bring to their organization. Make sure your examples are relevant, recent, and demonstrate a breadth of experience. This section of your cover letter is your chance to shine, so take the time to sell your achievements and potential value to the prospective employer.

Customization to the Job Description

When you’re applying for a project management position, reflecting parts of the job description in your cover letter shows your attention to detail and indicates you’ve given thought to how your skills align with the company’s needs. It’s important to analyze the job posting and identify the key responsibilities and requirements. Use this information to tailor your cover letter specifically to the role.

Demonstrate how your track record of success in previous project management roles makes you a suitable candidate for this specific job. Instead of broad statements, provide concrete examples of your achievements and how they relate to the duties described.

Example: Mention a project you led that improved efficiency by 20% and correlate it directly to the prospective employer’s need for efficiency improvements.

Pay close attention to the language used in the job listing. Incorporate some of the same terms and phrases in your cover letter. This can make a subtle, positive impact and show you’re in sync with the company’s culture and expectations.

Example: If the job listing uses the term “cross-functional collaboration,” use it to describe your approach to teamwork.

Lastly, mention why you are interested in the role at this particular company. Linking your enthusiasm and career goals to the company’s vision can show that you are not only a good fit for the job but also someone who is likely to be invested in the company’s success.

Example: Express your admiration for the company’s innovative approach to project management and your desire to be part of their forward-thinking team.

Showcasing Soft Skills and Personality

When drafting your cover letter as a project manager, you must highlight the soft skills that make you a strong leader and an effective communicator. Your personality shines through your ability to navigate team dynamics, resolve conflicts, and maintain a positive work environment.

Begin by touching on your communication skills; explain how you articulate project goals and ensure team alignment. Mention your active listening abilities, which help you truly understand stakeholder requirements and team concerns. Use anecdotes where you successfully mediated a dispute or rallied a team towards a common objective.

Time management is another pivotal soft skill. Illustrate your aptitude for prioritizing tasks by discussing a situation where your effective scheduling resulted in meeting a tight deadline.

Empathy plays a significant role in leadership. Share examples where your understanding of team member challenges led to the adoption of innovative solutions that benefited the project and improved team morale.

Furthermore, adaptability is fundamental in the ever-changing project landscape. Describe how you have successfully navigated unforeseen challenges by staying flexible and open-minded.

  • Exhibit your communication skills through specific examples of successful team alignment.
  • Demonstrate your time management prowess with an example of efficient task prioritization.
  • Use a story to portray how your empathy improved project outcomes and team well-being.
  • Showcase your adaptability with an anecdote about overcoming unexpected project hurdles.

Your soft skills and unique personality traits set you apart. Conveying them effectively in your cover letter can be the difference-maker in your job application.

Closing Remarks

As you wrap up your cover letter, it’s important to express your enthusiasm for the potential to contribute to the team and the project’s success. A strong closing can leave a memorable impression on your potential employer.

For instance, you might say:

Thank you for considering my application. I am very excited about the opportunity to bring my unique skills to [Company Name] and contribute to impactful projects that align with my professional goals.

Remember to invite the hiring manager to reach out to you to continue the conversation:

Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss how I can make a difference at [Company Name].

Lastly, always thank the reader for their time:

I appreciate your time and look forward to the possibility of working together.

Make sure you sign off your letter professionally with a “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name.

  • Best regards,
  • With appreciation,

These final words are the polish on your cover letter, ensuring that you leave a positive and lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i write an effective project manager cover letter with no prior experience.

To write a cover letter without experience, focus on transferable skills like leadership, organization, and communication that you’ve gained from other areas such as volunteer work, academic projects, or extracurricular activities. Highlight how these skills can apply to the tasks of a project manager.

What are the key elements to include in a construction project manager cover letter?

Include a brief mention of your experience with budget management, oversight of construction processes, contract negotiations, and team leadership. Specific examples, like a successful project you led or a challenge you overcame in construction, can demonstrate your capabilities.

Can you provide a structure for a senior project manager cover letter?

Start with a professional greeting. In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the position. In the following paragraphs, detail your relevant experience, achievements, and approach to project management. Conclude by reiterating your interest and inviting the hiring manager to discuss your application in more detail.

What should I highlight in a PMO manager cover letter to stand out?

Emphasize your strategic planning abilities, resource management, and proficiency in PMO methodologies. Mention any specific PMO tools you’re skilled with, and describe how you’ve successfully optimized project delivery in your previous roles.

Could you give advice on writing a compelling personal statement for a project manager role?

Your personal statement should succinctly summarize your project management philosophy, your leadership style, and your career achievements. Be sure to tailor this section to reflect the key competencies outlined in the job description.

What is a good example of a project manager cover letter for non-profit organizations like an NGO?

Mention your passion for the mission of the NGO and how your project management skills can help further their objectives. Detail any relevant experience with volunteer management, fundraising events, or community projects that show your alignment with non-profit values.

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  1. What Is a Cover Letter? (And What To Include in One)

    A cover letter is a short introduction to you that concisely communicates your interest in a job opportunity along with your top skills and relevant experience. It's important to customize your cover letter for each role to demonstrate that you've researched the organization's mission and values. — Genevieve Northup, MBA, SHRM-CP, HCI-SPTD

  2. What is a Cover Letter? Definition & Examples

    A cover letter is a one-page document included in your job application (along with your resume ). The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce you to an employer, and give them additional information about your qualifications, character, and why you're interested in working for them.

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job in 2024

    1. Learn what a good cover letter looks like Before getting started, it helps to know what a cover letter is and what yours should look like. Here's an example to show you how to make a professional cover letter in 2024: Using a pre-written cover letter outline is a great way to speed up the writing process. Download Cover Letter Example

  4. What Is a Cover Letter? Definition, Purpose, and Types

    A cover letter is a letter containing three to four paragraphs that a job seeker or an internship applicant shares with their prospective employer when applying for a job. A cover letter is submitted alongside the applicant's résumé and in many ways complements it.

  5. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long.

  6. How to Write A Cover Letter in 2022 (6 Tips

    The cover letter is your first introduction to the person who may hire you, and its goal should be to make you as memorable as possible, in a good way. That means writing a unique cover letter for every job you apply to. No templates. No pre-written nonsense.

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    A cover letter is a type of letter you include in your job application. Its main role is to let the reader know what motivated you to apply, and what you can offer. A cover letter is not synonymous with a resume or CV. Typically, a cover letter's main body consists of three paragraphs, each for a different purpose.

  10. How and Why to Write a Great Cover Letter

    With your cover letter, you'll aim to: Highlight your qualifications: You'll show how your skills and experience relate to the employer's needs for a specific position. Showcase your motivation: You'll demonstrate your enthusiasm for the specific position and the organization. Reflect your voice and written communication skills: You ...

  11. 7 Key Components of an Effective Cover Letter

    A cover letter introduces you to an employer through a personalized explanation of your qualifications and interest in a position. While a resume shares the technical details of your skills and work experience, a cover letter gives insight into your soft skills, attitude and motivations.

  12. How to Write a Cover Letter for Job Applications: Example

    1 likes comments So, your cover letter: Your chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager in a more personal way. Seems like an amazing opportunity to impress them, right? But not just any cover letter can do this. In order to actually boost your chances of getting hired, your cover letter has to be perfect.

  13. Sample Cover Letter for a Job Application

    letter of application, also known as a cover letter, is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience to an employer. Your letter of application is intended to provide detailed information on why you are an ideal candidate for the job.

  14. What Is a Cover Letter for a Job? Purpose & Example

    Purpose & Example. A cover letter is a document attached to your job application that shows why you're the best candidate. Not everyone expects cover letters, but a significant proportion of employers still do. If you don't include one, you're significantly reducing your chances of finding a job.

  15. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Pro Tips

    Place your name, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email address in your cover letter heading. Your email address should be professional like "[email protected]," and not personal like "[email protected]." Include links to your LinkedIn profile or professional online portfolio if you have one.

  16. 200+ Professional Cover Letter Examples for Job Seekers

    A cover letter, also known as a cover page, is made of the following five parts: Salutation: A professional greeting that addresses the hiring manager by name Introduction: An attention-grabbing opening paragraph that introduces yourself and your intention to apply for the open role

  17. How to Write a Cover Letter (Template and Example)

    Describe your advantages as a candidate. It's essential to examine the job descriptions and identify how your skills, education and experience can fulfil the position. In your cover letter, it's important to focus on how you can meet or exceed the expectations of the company. Reiterate the key qualifications the company looks for in a candidate.

  18. How to Write a Cover Letter (With Tips)

    A cover letter serves as your introduction to an employer and typically accompanies an application for employment and/or a resume. A cover letter allows you to highlight the qualifications on your resume in more detail.

  19. 21+ Cover Letter Examples in 2024 [For All Professions]

    Content. Top ↑ 21 Cover Letter Examples #1. Career Change Cover Letter Example #2. Recent Graduate Cover Letter Example #3. Middle Management Cover Letter Example #4. Business Manager Cover Letter Example #5. Ph.D. Cover Letter Example #6. Senior Executive Cover Letter Example #7. Architect Cover Letter Example #8.

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    Records which are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the records, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the records.